The ship was silent today and this bothered Death more than he could allow. Silence was something enjoyed in the moments of laziness, when all he wished to do was read or perhaps bleach his bone in the sun on the main deck. However, he woke up this morning with more energy than expected and silence pushed him from his room in search of some activity.
The games deck was the first thing that appealed to him. There was a selection of games, but probably the most attractive to him was the shuffleboard. There seemed to be a few people playing on one shuffleboard so asked to join them.
“Well, of course, we could use a fourth,” Henry murmured, his lips wobbling, causing the wrinkles to move like worms. “Take a seat over there for now, it is Martin and Michael’s turn before us. I’m sure you’re familiar with the sport?”
“I have dabbled in my time,” Death replied, taking the shuffleboard stick from Henry and sitting himself down beside Henry.
Henry groaned and grunted as he sat down beside Death and sighed happily.
“Life is good, is it not, friend?” Henry asked Death.
“Too good at times,” Death replied. “Terribly silent today, don’t you think?”
“It is wonderfully silent today! Nothing says the worlds working the way it should more than silence.”
“Perhaps, but the urge to create some noise just grows.”
“Well, you can rest assured that it won’t be coming from me. Yes, it is a fine day to be out at sea. I served, you know?”
“That’s right. Finest years of my life, although war is never a pretty sight. Lost many friends to...many different things really.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Don’t be, some had it coming. I must say though, it is odd seeing someone so...spritely, playing with old folks.”
“Actually, I tend to spend more time around the elderly and I am anything but spritely.”
“Well...from the way you talk you sound still a little young and inexperienced to me. How old are you?”
“I can’t quite remember.”
“Huh, maybe you are getting on in years, although my wife has been saying that every birthday since she was twenty-five!”
To this Henry laughed, slapping his aged knee and regretting it almost instantly. Death and Henry watched their competition push the puck further down the board than expected, but Death was quite surprised to see Henry close the gap with a perfect score, knocking them clean off the board.
To this, Martin and Michael grunted their disapproval and money exchanged hands.
“Well, we won this one, pal,” Henry began while shaking Death’s hand. “But there will be days where you don’t.”
“I hope they will be few for you, Henry,” Death told him. “Change isn’t as healthy as they say, especially to one who does so well.”
“Huh, I like that. Must try to keep that phrase in mind.”
With that, Death left the elderly friends to retire to the bar and celebrate the evening. Death, on the other hand, decided to wander the ship in search of entertainment.
The people were busy with their own matters, but as it was they were all quiet and relaxed. The sky responded in turn with not a single cloud in sight and a warm, setting sun. Death had to admit, it was a beautiful day and perhaps Henry’s words were finally reaching him.
Death began to walk back to his cabin, but then spied something through one of the ship’s windows. With raised interest he navigated down one way and turned through a large set of doors into the ships lounging area.
It was splendid, decorated with warm colours, but classical colours too. In the evening it still kept its warmth thanks to the beautiful fireplace as the centre of the room. Not many people were in the room, which was to Death’s liking.
Death took the opportunity to make his own sound and play the piano which he noticed passing the lounging area. It was by far the most grand piano that many of the ship residents had seen, but simple compared to the piano that Death owned. He sat himself down in front of it and prepared himself. Taking a deep breath he began to pluck the keys and Death’s song began.
The tune began slowly at first, simple chords here and there plucked with skill and passion. There were few vacationers in the lounge, but these few payed Death close attention as he began to sing.
I see this rose, this sweet flower
The weak petals, a man’s great desire
Don’t you see the danger, the danger of this fire
Don’t you see this liar, in his liar’s tower
I see this child, bright eyes spy through the telescope
The longing for purpose, the will to achieve its goal
Don’t you see the pain, the pain in this soul
Don’t you see this soldier, forced into war by this envelope
I see the coming dawn, this promise of change
The start of a new age, the repeat in history
Don’t you see the joke, change lost in mystery
Don’t you see the punchline, or is it beyond your range?
I see this hope long since lost
I see this world, finding it again
I see these people and attempts to contain
I see this hope escape, at the peoples cost
Death’s voice trailed off into soft humming as the song leaned back towards the piano. The people who sat in the room returned to their newspapers, contemplating the lyrics for only a moment, finding their take and leaving the rest behind. The piano was now only a background entertainment.
Death enjoyed the melody of it all. The melody that accompanied the circumstance that they were in. The ocean carried them all on steady waters and as the day drew on the song was rightly forgotten. With peace in silence now founded, Death retired to his room to finish reading the next chapter in his book.
In those moments he wondered how Sharlet was going to confess her feelings to Sir Drake.